Call if you can, text if you can't.
That's the phrase western Wayne County's 911 coordinator hopes catches on.
"If there's a burglar in your house and you're hiding in the closet, you don't want to let the burglar know that you are inside the house," Jordyn Sellek said.
If you are hearing impaired or your signal isn't strong enough to make a call, you can text 911 in the western part of Wayne County, and most of Macomb and Oakland counties as well.
Officials say to only use plain text, and don't send photos or videos because 911 can't receive those. They also can't get your exact location from your cell phone. Figure out where you are so you can tell them.
Additionally, if you need to text 911, don't use abbreviations or shorthand; for example, instead of "idk," type out "I don't know."
Calling 911 will get a faster response but if that's not possible, remember: call if you can, text if you can't.
If you are in an area that doesn't have text to 911, you will get a bounce-back message saying it isn't available and you will have to call. In the next couple of years, texting 911 is expected to be available statewide.
The following areas currently have text to 911 available:
- Harrison Township
- Mt. Clemens
- Macomb Township
- Washington Township
- Ray Township
- Bruce Township
- Clinton Township
- Lenox Township
- New Haven
- Richmond Lenox EMS
- Sterling Heights
- Dearborn Heights
- Garden City
- Huron Township
- Sumpter Township
- Van Buren Township